Life moves in cycles. Something is always coming to an end. Something is always beginning. Do you know how to direct which cycle begins next?
Consider the analogy of a wheel. If I were a spot on a bicycle, wheel I would come close to the ground once every turn. Subsequently, I would rise to the top of the wheel as the bicycle moves forward. Every time I touch the ground, I find myself in a new spot. I have moved forward and have the opportunity to begin again from a new position.
Life cycles are like that. Every time one cycle ends, you find yourself looking at your life from a new vantage point. You have learned new things, developed new skills and embraced new desires. Learn to recognize the end of a cycle and take time to see where you want to go next. Take time to make a course correction.
What do you want to keep in this next cycle?
I’m beginning the cycle of retirement. I want to keep my writing as a key component of my life. However, what I write about is changing. I used to write about constructive actions to take around building a business. Now I am more interested in exploring philosophical concepts that deepen my own life experience. I’m still writing, but the topics I explore have changed. What elements of the current cycle do you want to bring into the next cycle?
What strengths do you want to bring forward?
The strengths I want to bring forward into this cycle are my years of spiritual exploration. I am studying Taoism. I am learning to apply it to my daily life in a manner that is meaningful to me. I am living in changed circumstances due to growing older and I am trying to keep from buying into the destructive concepts of aging that surround me. At the moment, I have no one to teach me how to move through this aging process in the way I want to – except myself. I am calling on knowledge from my many spiritual and holistic practices to find my way. As you move forward, what strengths and insights do you want to bring with you into this next cycle?
How do you prevent unwanted cycles from beginning?
There is a huge belief in the world that aging means deterioration. It means a failing body and uselessness. That is the cycle I refuse to consider. Yet it surrounds me. I live in a senior center where first responders show up several times a month. People are in and out of hospitals. People go to nursing homes or they die. I see people creeping down the halls hunched over their walkers. My daily experience is filled with signs that support the belief that as we grow older we deteriorate. According to my belief, that does not happen. My plan is to live to 114 in great shape and then simply change form.
Not everyone around me reflects abject deterioration. I am part of an active group that plays board games and gets together for other activities. But for me, that’s not enough. No one here shares my philosophy of staying healthy and active and relevant until you finally simply change form. I’m on my own. I search for and find like-minded people on the internet. I’m in a naturally occurring cycle of aging, but I do not intend to follow the common rut. I’m going to take a different path. I’m going exploring. I want my aging cycle to be full of passion, exciting discovery, and relevant contribution. I can do that.
What is the foundation for your next cycle?
What is it you want in your life? What values do you live by? What qualities do you wish to express? Go within and see what you need. I have a burning desire to keep learning. And I need to keep sharing what I learn. I love my mind. I love figuring things out. I am building this next segment of my life on the foundation of deepening my spiritual understanding and sharing what I learn with others. That is my foundation. That will provide personal feelings of relevance, contributing to others, and making a difference.
Where are you in your current cycle?
Just as the spot on the bicycle wheel touches the ground with every turn of the wheel, I must look around whenever I come to the end of a cycle. I must take time to choose my direction or correct my course. I am engaged in the big cycle of my retirement years, but within that big cycle, smaller wheels are turning. Each time I feel a cycle end I take time to see if I am still going in a direction that nourishes me.
Are you at the beginning, middle, or end of a cycle? Where do you want to go next? How do you want it to look? How do you want it to feel? When one cycle ends, you have the incredible opportunity to begin to alter the size and shape of your wheel and point yourself in an entirely new direction.
Cara Lumen, MA, Your Idea Optimizer helps entrepreneurs who are moving into retirement with all their creative juices still flowing, to re-purpose their passion and talent so they can slow down and still feel productive and relevant. She encourages awareness and helps you find balance. Cara helps you create meaningful change. http://www.caralumen.com.
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